Versatile Engineered Wood Product Delivers Strength, Beauty, and Reliability
Glued laminated timber, or glulam, is a highly innovative construction material. Pound for pound, glulam is stronger than steel and has greater strength and stiffness than comparably sized dimensional lumber. Increased design values, improved product performance, and cost competitiveness make glulam the superior choice for projects from simple beams and headers in residential construction to soaring arches for domed roofs spanning more than 500 feet.
Glulam is a stress-rated engineered wood beam composed of wood laminations, or "lams", that are bonded together with durable, moisture-resistant adhesives. The grain of the laminations runs parallel with the length of the member. Glulam is versatile, ranging from simple, straight beams to complex, curved members. Glulam is available in both custom and stock sizes and one of four appearance classifications: premium, architectural, industrial, or framing.
Common Glulam Applications
Glulam has a reputation for being used in striking, exposed applications such as vaulted ceilings and other designs with soaring open spaces. In homes, churches, public buildings, and other light commercial structures, glulam is often specified for its beauty as well as its strength. It's also a workhorse in common hidden applications, including simple purlins, ridge beams, garage door headers, floor beams, and large cantilevered beams. In commercial construction, glulam is used in appplications ranging from large, flat roof systems to complex arches. Glulam also meets demanding environments of bridges, utility poles, cross arms, and marinas. Learn more about glulam in commercial and residential construction.
Glulam is available in both custom and stock sizes. Stock beams are manufactured in commonly used dimensions and cut to length when the beam is ordered from a distributor or dealer. Typical stock beam widths used in residential construction include: 3-1/8, 3-1/2, 5-1/8, 5-1/2, and 6-3/4 inches.
For nonresidential applications, where long spans, unusually heavy loads, or other circumstances control design, custom members are typically specified. Common custom shapes include straight beams, curved beams, pitched and curved beams, radial arches, and tudor arches.
The APA EWS Mark of Quality
Glulam beams manufactured by APA members are certified with the APA EWS trademark. The mark signifies that the manufacturer is committed to a rigorous program of quality verification and testing and that products are manufactured in conformance with ANSI Standard A190.1-2012, Standard for Wood Products—Structural Glued Laminated Timber. The APA EWS trademark is recognized by all major model building codes.
How to Read the APA EWS Trademark
B Indicates Structural Use
- B — simple span bending member
- C — compression member
- T — tension member
- CB — continuous or cantilevered span bending member
IND Designates Appearance Grade
Available appearance grades include:
- INDUSTRIAL — for enclosed or exposed areas where appearance is not important
- ARCHITECTURAL — for exposed applications
- PREMIUM — custom order where appearance is of prime importance
- FRAMING — for enclosed use such as headers
EWS-Y117 Indicates EWS Laminating Specification
APA EWS 24F-1.8E Indicates Structural Grade Designation
- 24F indicates an allowable bending stress of 2,400 psi.
- 1.8 indicates a modulus of elasticity of 1.8 x 106 psi.
- E indicates mechanically graded lumber, whereas a V would indicate visually graded lumber.
DF Indicates Wood Species
This glulam is made from Douglas-fir laminations.
MILL 0000 Indicates Mill Number
ANSI Indicates Applicable Standard
ANSI A190.1, Structural Glued Laminated Timber, is the American National Standard for glulam beams.
The Glulam Product Guide describes APA EWS trademarked glulam, addresses important design considerations, and includes a specification guide. It also highlights some of the many applications where glulam is used in construction.
Access a complete list of APA publications about glulam in APA's Resource Library.